Monday, December 31, 2012

Jennifer Saul's "Lying, Misleading, and What is Said"

Jennifer Saul is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sheffield. She works in Philosophy of Language, Feminist Philosophy and Philosophy of Psychology. She is especially interested in finding ways that philosophical debates (like that over what is said) connect up with real-world concerns (like lying and misleading). And she likes nothing better than an excuse to discuss political scandals in great detail. Her books include Simple Sentences, Substitution, and Intuitions and Feminism: Issues and Arguments. She is Director of the Implicit Bias and Philosophy Research Network.

Saul applied the “Page 99 Test” to her latest book, Lying, Misleading, and What is Said: An Exploration in Philosophy of Language and in Ethics, and reported the following:
Not a bad test, as it's the page on which I'm summarising my view on the ethics of lying vs misleading-- very roughly, I don't think there is a general ethical difference between the two. Though I do wish it had been a page on which I was working through some of the fun examples, like the Jesuit Doctrine of Equivocation. (According to this doctrine, an utterance isn't a lie if I silently think to myself something that makes my words true. So, famously, a Priest may truthfully say "I am not a Priest" as long as he silently thinks to himself "of Apollo." I leave further applications to the reader.)
Learn more about Lying, Misleading, and What is Said at the Oxford University Press website.

Writers Read: Jennifer Mather Saul.

--Marshal Zeringue